This collection contains traditional designs, carved in a range of materials.
Rebirth ~ Purity ~ Peace
Koru is the Māori word for 'loop'. The spiral shaped koru design graphically represents an unfolding silver fern frond. The circular movement towards an inner coil refers to ‘going back to the beginning’.
Fertility ~ Fortune ~ Creation
The Tiki is a very ancient symbol and, while quickly recognised, is by far the least understood of traditional carved designs. There are a number of legends in relation to its meaning. Some say the Tiki came from the stars and that he was the first man of the world. Other theories suggest that tiki represents the human embryo - forming life.
Friendship ~ Knowledge ~ Love
The Pikorua or single twist shape represents the eternal emerging paths in life. The figure-eight form symbolizes the bond between two people, their loyalty and love. This shape reflects the natural ebbs and flows that occur in a relationship without breaking the bond of friendship or love.
Courage ~ Wisdom ~ Authority
A symbol of courage and strength in times of adversity. Toki were worn by Māori elders as a symbol of power, wisdom and authority.
The toki (adze) was a chisel tool used by the Māori people of Aotearoa (New Zealand) to carve their great canoes and the detailing on meeting houses. When lashed to a wooden handle it was also used as a weapon.
Prosperity ~ Abundance ~ Fertility
Much of Māori theology was based around the sea - Māori crossed the Pacific Ocean to find New Zealand (Aotearoa) in sailing canoes, fishing to survive these long and dangerous journeys.
Legend has it that New Zealand was once a huge fish that was caught by the great mariner Maui using a line of woven plant fibre and a bone hook - so the hook, or matau, is central to our Islands.
Guide ~ Protect ~ Communicate
The Māori people have many legends about the creation of the earth and how New Zealand was discovered. These legends include a number of mythical beings, some of whom have control over each of the elements while others belong to the realm of ancestral spirits.
The Manaia can be blended into many Maori designs with subtle differences between tribes. Most Maori art tells the story of a tribe or event. The Manaia therefore has many forms as it is intertwined with other shapes and patterns to depict its different powers and its interaction with the spirit or mortal worlds.
Ancestor ~ Heritage ~ Spirit
Wheku, meaning 'carved face', depicts the face of an ancestor.
The Wheku is generally found at the apex of the gable on a Wharenui, the Maori meeting house, and symbolises an important ancestor after whom the house was named.